Reply To: Sorry to say this about your website.

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(re: Sorry to say this about your website.) Thank you for the comments! My responses are embedded…
-Ken W
I’m sorry to say this, but the site isn’t getting better, it’s getting worse.
One of the problems is that since your last update you have to click the answers just to see alle the messages.
Before, I was displaying all of the responses to a message onscreen at the same time, and now I’m just displaying them one at a time (with a list of them, so that you can pick and choose which responses to look at).
I’m with you on this one. I miss the ability to see all the messages at once. Unfortunately, the code that I was using was built hastily one night, and had a lot of bugs in it. It was poorly designed and poorly written. I’m working on a rewrite that should be back online within a month or two – and, be much better.
Posting a message should be clear that you post a message in ‘Website related’ or ‘Game Related’, now you see new posts just popping up right in the middle of some other thread. you see ‘Re:’ as a new post…
That’s a bug I haven’t seen. Can you try to repeat it?
Turn off “auto notification” before you do – so that each message you add isn’t being emailed to 100’s of people, and then do some experimenting.
The issue of the title on the message is that I automatically put “re:” on the message you are posting under as the title of any message posted. It’s easy to just type over this with a new title. I think people aren’t realizing they can change the message title. I’ll look to see if there is a redesign I should do.
The Photogallery demo doesn’t seem to work (or at least it doesn’t do what I expect it to do) When I select the Photo Gallery demo all I get is a page with some links to the photo’s.
OOPS!!! You are right. When I installed the new version of the software I forgot to move over the code to handle photo gallerys. In the old days at Sierra we had a team of nearly 100 paid QA testers. Now I’ve just got me :{ Oh well… this shouldn’t be hard to fix. Try it again tomorrow. It’s actually a cool feature – I’m surprised no one has used it.
You really should look into ‘vBulletin’ or the other one I posted about in ‘I changed how messages get posted’. these forums are really as userfriendly as any forum every can be.. So if you don’t want to use those forums, at least try to get it to be as easy as those.. I learned when I was a young kid: ‘Why invent the wheel again’ But I know it more fun to try to recreate it yourself so you can learn from it, and I gather from this site that you are learning website programming.. LOL..
You are right that one of the goals for this site was to learn website programming.
In the early days of Sierra, and before I started Sierra, I was a hot programmer. Unfortunately, during the last 10 years or so when I was running Sierra, I was stuck as a bureaucrat while all the developers got to have all the fun. It doesn’t matter how hot “I was” – all that matters today is that it has been about 10 years since I was writing lots of code, and I’m pretty rusty. To be fair though, I’m positive that I’m at least a “top 10%” programmer.
Most of the problems with this site come from three areas:
1) Hot programmers are not necessarily hot designers. My wife Roberta (Kings Quest) is a hot designer. She understands user interfaces, and how to build one that isn’t confusing. I’m good at code, and mediocre at design. I primarily design via the “do it and refine it” method. I’m very fast coding, so generally I like to put something on the site, see if people use/like it, and do more of what people like, and less of what they don’t.
2) This site was never intended for this purpose. I built this software to be a general purpose website generator (look at
) to see where this site is headed. My long-term goal is that anyone (individual, small business, or group/association) who wants a website can build one themselves. There are currently websites that do this – but they are all gutless. Most give you one page, and no user authentication. There are LOTS of features that will be added to this over the next year. Users of this software will get sites for $10 per month that would have cost $10’s of thousands of dollars if they were coded custom. If I were building a website just for, it would be a lot simpler.
3) It isn’t finished yet. You are seeing a VERY pre-release piece of code. The code is changing too rapidly to start writing documentation. 99% of the functionality hasn’t even been coded yet. This means that there are no help files, no tutorials, no instructions, etc. Even when finished, the software is intended to be used differently than it is being used here. Here’s a quick overview: The idea is that this is a website generator – but, one major distinction is that I’m using a novel approach for generating websites. My plan is to have 100’s of different “template” websites, for 100’s of different target audiences. For instance, I see templated websites for cub scout troops, church groups, homeowners associations, fan clubs, corporate intranets, train clubs, boat clubs, retail stores, liquor stores, etc. The idea is that in 30 seconds you can build a website that is already customized for you. 99% of the work is already done. All the target user needs to do is change whatever text that separates their homeowners association from the one down the block.
Some of the nice things about those other forums are:
– better editor (this one is real annoying when pressing the enter)
I should have a fix to the “enter key” confusion within the next couple of weeks. The code is already written.
– all messages are kept inside a very clear thread
This site uses a different metaphor. I’m using a tree, of infinite depth. Currently, I have a bug in the code that displays your position in the tree at the top of the message window. When I put this code back it will clear up some confusion.
– Threads are sorted by date (last added reply)
I do display things in date sequence, but then give the forum administrator the freedom to move anything anywhere. I was a bit sloppy when I re-organized the board and didn’t pay much attention to date. I was moving things around based on “topic” not date. I’ll try to pay more attention to this in the future.
– It’s more clear when you want to reply and quote
Give me an example of what you are talking about… should I include the message being responded to in the response? So that you can easily refer to it?
– The ‘watch this thread’ function (you get a message when there is a new reply, it’s kinda like this site but then only on the threads I wanted it)
I had that, and it was confusing my non-techie users. Perhaps it was just poor design. If this seems to be something people want, I’ll add it back.
– Better navigation between subjects..
The way the board is now is propably ok